The mission areas

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The purpose of this new institution is to love Jesus in our neighbor and our neighbor in Jesus.

Our missionary tension has many faces but one unifying heart: it starts from the encounter with Christ and has a strong relational character.

It keeps us in the same journey lived by Jesus in His incarnation: journey between God and brothers, poles of charity received, lived, shared. For this reason, every assignment or commitment entrusted to the sisters allows them to “toil cheerfully” that is, to work with commitment to give a good but also to rejoice in the possibility of being witnesses and instruments of the encounter with God, recipients of His benevolence and tenderness that continues to speak to us even through the stories of those -large and small- we meet and serve.

many faces but one unifying heart

Pastoral Care

Called to work in the Church in fraternity, we feel, like Francis, sent to “repair His house.”

Pastoral service brings alive our missionarity in the Church to evangelize by the witness of life, word and deeds.

Sent to be collaborators in the joy of our brothers, reached by the grace of the saving Word and participants in the pastoral action of the Church, we respond, as far as possible, to the needs of local communities. We do this particularly in liturgical animation, catechesis, formation of pastoral workers, attention to families, extraordinary ministry of communion, health and prison ministry, new evangelization, welcoming and caring for university youth, youth and vocation ministry.

This service, rooted in the heart of the foundational experience, has developed and enriched over the past decades; it continues to challenge us today by soliciting our responsibility and creativity.

Throughout our history, each fraternity has remained open to the little ones and young people, in an attitude of listening, welcoming; we have developed, stimulated by the different contexts, concrete situations, needs encountered, our resources and skills, a plurality of presence and action in service.

Being Francescane Missionarie di Gesù Bambino urges us to point our gaze to the Incarnation of the Son of God, so Jesus of Nazareth becomes the reference for us to know, love, and serve the mystery of God and the mystery of man also in the service of vocational youth ministry.

In the face of poverty that wounds the dignity of our brethren and makes them miserable or makes them feel abandoned, as what happened at the time of the foundation, welcoming and walking alongside those who live the time of human cultural and vocational maturation is our mission: it allows us to express identity.

It thus happens to flank the path of searching for the fullness of life of those who have not come to know the Lord Jesus; of those who have had dispersive experiences with respect to faith; of those who struggle to find meaning and a concrete path for their existence and feel the weight of it, even when they are unable to frame or verbalize exactly the terms of their “poverty”; of those who live alienated from themselves; of those who have lost all reference.

Often the commitment in the area of youth ministry coincides with a true path of evangelization, and in this area we try to share, gratuitously, the good that, gratuitously, the Lord has poured out on our lives, aware that the witness of a passionate and authentic consecrated life constitutes the first and most credible proclamation to which young people are very sensitive and before which they do not hesitate to question themselves.

The figure of a believing adult who is firm in his or her vocation and has time and expertise available to help young people walk toward the fulfillment of life is very valuable, in a world where various forms of orphanhood and the difficulty of choice are experienced: it is a true service, as our Mother Foundress already pointed out to us, of spiritual motherhood that sustains in the fascinating proposal of the Gospel: being born again from above.

In the service of vocational youth ministry, we are not only involved on a personal level, but also as “fraternities capable of proclaiming possible love.” We are all called to be collaborators with fidelity to the consecrated life, in the generous offering of ourselves, in confident intercessory prayer and in industrious creativity.

being born again from above.

Education

Contemplating the mystery of the God made Child, Who chose to dwell among us and go through all the stages of growth, we cannot but believe and trust in the future…

The institute’s history and denomination lead us to live out our educational passion by preferentially approaching the little ones and young people walking toward the fullness of life and placing ourselves at the service of their human, Christian and cultural growth.

We recognize in the field of Education the “call to a mission of charity.” In the work of education we make our own our Mother Foundress’ pedagogy of love, which exhorts us to “be all love” (Leg. I, 76), to love and be loved like the Infant Jesus. Our action, in this area, responds to a perennial invitation and commitment of the Church and is supported and oriented precisely by the example of Suor Maria Giuseppa, who lived and proposed her own original “pedagogy of charity.” In her experiences of service to growth, she always approached each person with humility, with confidence, in the certainty that through the work of education, “the reform, preservation and good of the family and of society as a whole” could be achieved” (1R167).

We seek to nurture, in our educational environments, an atmosphere of family, Franciscan simplicity, cordial welcome, listening and serene and respectful dialogue that fosters collaboration among community members and connection with the fraternity. Our commitment is supported by the conception of education as a process that involves “the whole” man throughout his “entire” existence.

In particular, today we are engaged:

  • In kindergarten and play center, primary and secondary schools;
  • In the teaching of the Catholic religion in secondary schools;
  • Teaching of various disciplines in theological faculties;
  • Child care;
  • University colleges;
  • Parish catechesis.

But the “pedagogy of charity” that we received from Suor Maria Giuseppa and the sisters and that we wish to carry on goes beyond the school; it is attentive to every age and every person.

In fact, it is proposed as a service offered to the person to enable him or her to cultivate and express their human potential and help them open up to a relationship with themselves, others and God in a perspective of giving and collaboration for the common good.

pedagogy of charity

Reception

To welcome someone to one’s own is more than just accepting him or her; it involves sharing and questioning oneself in order to offer a space of life, to make oneself a home for the one who asks. To welcome is to sharpen one’s gaze so that through one’s own, that of the Father may be communicated.

Beginning with the first houses in L’Aquila, which were immediately too small to offer shelter to all who needed it, Suor Maria Giuseppa made welcoming a project and a way of life. Home as refreshment, a place where each person can share, in the joy of reunion, the beauty as well as the labors of each day, a familiar place of growth, the home is a safe refuge; open to those who lack it, the home becomes a welcome.

Of welcoming Suor Maria Giuseppa made a habitual, familiar, spontaneous gesture, and she wished it to be the hallmark of her sisters’ missionary work.

It is from the mystery of Bethlehem that the charism of charity receives light and strength. The love contemplated in the “happy grotto” becomes the reason for her whole life, entirely spent with the radicality and in the minority of St. Francis to “love Jesus in her neighbor and her neighbor in Jesus.” It is from her deep love for God that the desire to serve her neighbor springs urgently in her: it is on the love for God that love for man is measured, and on love for man that love for God is measured.

Love becomes a gift, charity becomes a home; hat same charity that today her daughters witness in the life of the fraternities and that everyone can experience in the places of welcome, where, in the simple and sober style of Francis, everyone can find listening and closeness, refreshment and peace to resume or renew their journey.

With the least

We proclaim the happy message to the poor through a ministry of charity, mindful of the Lord’s words:

"What you did to one of the least of these brothers of mine you did to me"

and following the example of Francis, who recognized Christ in all the poor.

The clear awareness of our Mother Foundress that she had to

consecrate herself to the good of the poor, the orphaned, the abandoned.

commits us to place the poorest at the center of our charitable ministry and to be evangelically present in situations of marginalization.

The Triune God consecrates us and sends us to our brothers and sisters, to serve them in Jesus and to reveal to them the merciful love of the Father, following the example of St. Francis’ using mercy, and Suor Maria Giuseppa di Gesù Bambino being all love. Our ministry of charity prefers, in the spirit of our Mother Foundress, children who are lonely, deprived of family affection, in difficulty, to express to them in a special way the love of Christ. It is open to the needs and urgencies of the Church and the world, nothing seeking but to serve Jesus in neighbor and neighbor in Jesus.

The legacy of our Mother Foundress commits us to grow in sensitivity to human miseries, following the path of incarnation, as women and mothers: in closeness, sharing, welcoming, humble and concrete operation, solidarity.